French photographer Séverine Sajous initiated Jungleye in November 2015. She distributed cameras to refugees in the Calais camp, otherwise known as “The Jungle”, for them to document their daily lives. The postcards created offer an unmediated view of their experiences.
The information we read about refugees is most often written by outsiders. Whether they’re labelled “a bunch of migrants” by their critics or portrayed as helpless victims by their supporters, the refugees are framed through the words and images of others.
Jungleye gives narrative agency back to the refugees themselves. By giving them the pens and cameras normally reserved for journalists, the series shows us the environment through the eyes of those we rarely hear from.
“Time has come to respect other human beings who are just like us,” writes one participant. Another questions, “For how much longer will our rights be violated?” A chilling image in the series depicts a make-shift living room in the middle of the forest; blankets draped over branches, empty frames propped against a tree. “In the damp, in the cold, in the mud, in the filth.”
Another postcard poignantly seems to respond: “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know your past, where you come from, but I don’t care because you’re just a human, and that’s why I love you.”
Jungleye is far more powerful than any journalist’s reportage; it is a stark reminder of the refugees’ humanity. You can keep up-to-date with the project on Facebook and Instagram.